The Australian University of Queensland said it will attract Tesla car owners around the world to study how their car batteries can power the grid.
The Australian University of Queensland (UQ) has long been a fan of Tesla technology. As part of its energy leadership ambitions, a 1.1MW/2.2 MWh Tesla Powerpack battery system was constructed at the St. Lucia campus in late 2019—the state’s largest behind-the-meter installation at the time. At an all-in cost of $2.05 million, the project was funded through the sale of renewable energy certificates created by UQ’s existing 6.3 MW behind-the-meter solar PV portfolio. The battery is controlled by a custom system developed by UQ called the Demand Response Engine or DRE.
On Wednesday, UQ said it would tap into Tesla owners around the world to analyze whether the car's spare battery capacity could support the energy grid and even power homes in the future, Reuters reported. The university has partnered with analytics platform Teslascope for the research project, which will be a world-first trial that would check how owners of electric vehicles (EV) currently drive and charge their vehicles.
Researchers at UQ said most EVs only cover one-eighth of their 400 km (249 mi) daily mileage, making it possible to store energy and export power to the grid using car-to-grid (V2G) chargers.
“(The study) will not only help to inform EV policy internationally, but importantly assess the feasibility of using EVs as batteries-on-wheels,” Jake Whitehead, Research Fellow at UQ, told Reuters.
Tesla owners in Australia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom can apply for the first phase of the study, according to the statement. The program could later be expanded to include other electric vehicle companies. The study, initially involving 500 Tesla owners, will collect usage data through the vehicle's software interface and in return users will be offered a free premium subscription to Teslascope for a year.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.